Singapore - Tim Howard made a crucial save to deny Marco Van
Ginkel as Everton beat Stoke City in a penalty shootout to reach the final of
the Barclays Asia Trophy on Wednesday.
Following a goalless draw between the Premier League sides
at Singapore's National Stadium, the American goalkeeper got a strong hand to
turn away Van Ginkel's effort in the second round of the shootout to give his
side the upper hand.
With all of the other spot kicks successfully converted,
Phil Jagielka found the top right corner with Everton's final attempt to seal a
The Toffees will meet the winner of Wednesday's other match
between Arsenal and a Singapore Select XI in the final on Saturday while Stoke
will play in the third-place play-off earlier that day.
With both teams still in the early stages of preparations
for the new Premier League season, the match at Singapore's National Stadium
was a low tempo affair with few clear-cut chances.
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Stoke had the best opportunity of the first half after 11
minutes when Oliver Shenton's low cross from the left found Peter Odemwingie,
who blazed wastefully wide from 10 yards.
Jagielka then made a superb last-ditch tackle to deny Marko
Arnautovic after Tony Hibbert's slip had looked like giving the Austrian
striker a clear run on goal in the 28th minute.
With half-time looming, Romelu Lukaku ran on to Steven
Pienaar's ball from the left and tucked the ball into the Stoke net only to see
the effort disallowed for offside.
Half-time substitute Steven Naismith almost made an
immediate impact for Everton at the start of the second half as he burst clear
of the Stoke defence but saw his effort tipped over by goalkeeper Jakob
On the hour mark, Odemwingie's low ball from the right
picked out Stephen Ireland whose first-time effort at the near post was well
stopped by Howard.
Just seconds later, Gerard Deulofeu was sent clear at the
other end by Naismith but his weak side-foot shot was easily saved by Haugaard.
With seven minutes left, Naismith wriggled his way through
on the left channel but was unable to beat Haugaard from close range.
And in the final minute, Lukaku muscled his way past a pair
of Stoke defenders but shot wide with the goal at his mercy.For
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